I Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
I Peter 4:8-10 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.
Now that I am temporarily unemployed, I can bike my husband to work. Back in 2011-2013, he did the same for me. It’s one of the pleasures of living in the community where you also work.
On part of the route to work, there is a portion that is so busy, crazy and out of control traffic-wise that we take to the sidewalks. And since the sidewalks have been around awhile, the transitions are quite rough. You spend a lot of time bracing yourself just above the seat, or you get a sore bum after a few blocks. On the first day I traveled this way, I noticed that at the worst intersections, someone had inexpertly dolloped a bike tire thin strip of cement just at the point where one would need it, allowing continuation along the path with more ease. This is clearly not an official job done by the city (who would close the entire road for 5 miles, tear up the whole corner to 10 feet down, let it fill with water for a few weeks, drain it out and then rebuild the transitions entirely, true story). It is just some fellow neighbor or biker or both who saw a problem and risked the law and limb to quickly add these bike transitions for us to use. When I asked Scott about them, he told me that they had been there all summer and that as they break down, which happens from time to time, he finds them freshly repaired the next morning. Five blocks of the roughest part of the path made smooth for the greater good. A thankless job for sure, probably done under cover of darkness, with no expectation of thanks or medals of honor. Just useful and timely.
On my ride today I thought about God and the Church and those rogue cement transitions.
Sometimes we treat it as if God were those transitions. We feel like overall we are doing fine on our journey, but its nice that God is there to patch over the rough spots for us. This is a harmful lie that only holds us back. God is not a neat little transition, God is all.
I think those rogue transitions are a better metaphor for the Church. We are all on a journey, not all going the same place and at the same rate, but still at times our paths align, and for that time, the church is there to help us over the rough spots, and we are there to help in return. To help make the path a little easier and less painful. To speed each other on toward our destinations, no matter how variant they are. Even if to do so is a little rogue, a little dangerous, and outside of the general construct of this world’s government.
This is not God, God is so much bigger. But this is the church.